Monday, February 1, 2010

Counseling physicians who are thinking about leaving clinical medicine

How many physicians think about leaving clinical medicine?

I've personally had the opportunity to correspond with many physicians about this topic. When discussions revolving around health care reform were active, there were probably even more physicians actively thinking about leaving clinical practice.

Here are some common questions that repeatedly seem to come up:
  • Does it make sense to leave a relatively "stable" career in clinical medicine to pursue a business career during a recession?
  • How do I make the transition if I lack industry work experience?
  • What type of salary could I expect to make if I leave clinical medicine to work for a company?
  • How long will it take to find a non-clinical job?
The answer to all of these question is: "it depends."

So many factors impact the answers to these questions. Some of those factors include:
  • Your age
  • Your medical specialty
  • Your ability/willingness to relocate
  • Your skills outside of clinical medicine
  • Your willingness to travel for work
  • Your computer skills
  • and so on...
You probably have what it takes to successfully leave clinical medicine, but you may need some guidance to make that transition efficiently. This last week while I was at the Alliance for CME meeting, I met quite a few physicians who had left the world of clinical medicine to work in the CME industry. I enjoyed hearing each of their stories about their career transitions. What's your story?

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